Top 5 most-read stories last week: home prices, Winter Plaza construction damage and ski area hiring
Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com in the past week.
1. Soaring average prices for single-family homes are pricing locals out of the market and causing others to sell and move away
Scott Wilson and his wife, Tasha, knew that Summit County wasn’t going to be their forever home. The couple, who met while working for Copper Mountain Resort, fell in love with the area, but certain factors kept them from settling down.
“It’s kind of tough because, honestly, in the last couple years, it was feeling a lot more like the community was coming together, and we were really starting to make our name in the community,” Wilson said. “But it was the fact that home prices were so expensive and just the idea of owning a single-family home that really you can’t get in for less than like $800,000 to $900,000. It didn’t seem like an achievable goal for us, especially working at the ski resort and not having just that uber big income.”
The Wilsons were living in a townhome in Dillon when they began to consider selling their property. The two weren’t interested in living in a condo when they were ready to have kids, so when the local real estate market became such a strong seller’s market, they began to debate moving from the county sooner rather than later.
— Jenna deJong
2. Construction crews for Winter Plaza project damage Hotel Frisco
The development of the Winter Plaza along Frisco’s Main Street is well underway, but its construction is causing some issues for Hotel Frisco.
On Oct. 4, an excavator used for the Winter Plaza development ran into the side of Hotel Frisco and went through the wall of the second floor common area. Luckily, no one inside the building was injured, though a Hotel Frisco employee heard and felt the collision.
“We believe it was some kind of accident that made the excavator ram into the hotel,” Hotel Frisco owner Brad Hovis said.
Immediately following, Hovis said his team noticed the construction crews were excavating close to the building and that they had crossed his property line — an orange line of spray paint that was laid on the ground and marked approximately 5 feet out from the edge of the building — and were digging a large hole butting up to the building.
— Jenna deJong
3. Summit ski areas raise wages, hire international employees to contend with labor shortage
Employee hiring — or lack thereof — continues to pose a challenge for Summit County businesses. With ski areas being the largest local employers of seasonal workers, where do they stand?
Summit County’s four ski areas — Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Copper Mountain Resort and Keystone Resort — all had different responses to the ongoing labor shortage.
A-Basin spokesperson Katherine Fuller said the ski area’s main challenge is related to work visas. Copper spokesperson Taylor Prather reported that the resort is not having hiring issues. Breckenridge and Keystone spokesperson Sara Lococo said this year has presented unique challenges on the staffing front but would not specify what those challenges are.
— Taylor Sienkiewicz
4. 2 years later, the investigation into the homicide of Breckenridge resident Brendan Rye continues
It’s been more than two years since the homicide of 29-year-old Brendan Rye, but details in the case remain scarce as officials continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.
On the evening of Nov. 6, 2019, Rye was killed in an altercation with another man in Breckenridge. Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum said the investigation is still active but couldn’t provide any further information.
“For the integrity of the case, the only thing I’m going to let anyone outside of the direct investigation know is that we are continuing with the investigation,” McCollum said. “It would not be appropriate for me at this or any juncture to disclose specifics of an investigation in a homicide case.”
— Sawyer D’Argonne
5. Smith Ranch work requirements deemed discriminatory by state
The Colorado Civil Rights Division has decided that a provision in the Smith Ranch housing lottery requiring homebuyers to work 30 hours per week in the county is discriminatory against those with disabilities.
Because homes in the Smith Ranch development in Silverthorne are deed restricted to homebuyers who work at least 30 hours per week in the county on average, people with disabilities who are unable to work the required amount cannot purchase in the neighborhood. A local woman with a disability who wanted to enter the lottery system, which the town uses to select homebuyers, was denied because she was unable to meet this requirement.
— Lindsey Toomer
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